You Can’t Trust What You Read About Nutrition
“We found a link between cabbage and innie bellybuttons, but that doesn’t mean it’s real.” is the sub-title of a fascinating article by Christie Aschwanden: “You Can’t Trust What You Read About Nutrition”
The article is a behind the scenes look at how nutritional studies are done, and some of the very spurious conclusions that are drawn based on not-so-accurate data.
You see many nutrition studies rely on self-reported dietary assessment. In other words people write down what they eat over a period of time. You have probably done that at some point; it might even have been me that asked you to do it.
Food journaling can and does have value, but most of the value relies on the awareness it creates, not the hard data it provides.
Because most of us, ahem, forget to write everything down, and the length of time we actually keep the log is just not long enough – there is not a big enough sample size to be valid science.
The reason I bring this all up (yes, there is a point to this) is that we humans like to glom on to sound bites and headlines rather than look at the data behind what is being said. I get it, we are busy, and sound bites and Twitter is just easier. But like Dad used to say, easier doesn’t necessarily mean better.
So the next time you read a headline like that tells you eating red meat is bad for you (or for that matter good for you), or that eating blueberries prevent memory loss, or that vegans are sexier, take a deeper look, or maybe even ask a nutrition coach, we are geeks for stuff like that.
You can read the entire article here: You Can’t Trust What You Read About Nutrition
You trust me, right?
P.S. I might try that vegan thing for awhile, I could use some help in that area. 🙂